WNY Schools At Risk After TikTok’s School Shooting Challenge
Some schools across the United States have gotten ahead of this and canceled classes for today, but the schools in Western New York have local authorities currently investigating the information, and they have deemed it to be safe for students to go to school.
Thanks to TikTok users around the world, there is a threat on the social media network urging students to participate in a nationwide school shooting and bombing as part of a “trend” online. However, none of these threats have shown credibility through the ongoing investigations.
The Hamburg Central school district announced last night that they were aware of the threat imposed on schools around the area for Friday, Dec. 17.
This letter was sent out to student families by the superintendent, Michael R. Cornell.
You may be aware of a post on TikTok that refers to a general threat to school safety “for every school in the USA, even elementary,” on Friday, December 17.
The district has been in contact with local authorities regarding the post, who have determined that it is not directed at the Hamburg Central School District, is not credible, and is actually a regurgitation of other posts designed to cause fear that actually originated outside of our area.
This situation serves as a good example of why it is important for students to avoid sharing posts online that refer to school safety threats. Even if they are not credible threats, they can sometimes cause stress and anxiety for our students, families, and staff. We appreciate the efforts that our families continually make to monitor their children’s social media activity and speak with them about proper behavior online.
If you or your child become aware of any potential threat to the Hamburg Central School District posted to social media or anywhere else, please notify your school principal or trusted adult right away.
As always, thank you for your partnership as we work to ensure a safe, secure, and positive learning environment for our students.
Parents from other school districts caught wind of this, both from word of mouth and the increasing number of posts on TikTok.
Western New York schools are taking the threat extremely seriously. It all started with one TikTok user making a post that encouraged violence in schools on Dec. 17.
While police departments around the country have been unable to detect any substantial evidence to support the shooting and bombing threat, it is not taken lightly – especially with parent and student fears only growing. That's why the neighboring school districts in Western New York are continuing to investigate these threats and monitor the security of these buildings.
We will keep you updated on any school closures as the information becomes available to us.